Ras Mubarak 'propagandist for Palestinian terrorists' - Israeli Ambassador

Credit AP  KHALIL HAMRA					Palestinians put on a circus performance Wednesday during protests at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel

Footage distributed by the military showed an area of the fence made up of several layers of barbed wire coils. Hiding behind allegations that the Palestinians attacked the Israeli troops, the Israeli forces responded with superior force that was out of proportion to the nature of the protests.

Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the protesters getting across the fence. The 11-year blockade of Gaza has left Gazans in a perilous position - less than four percent of fresh water is drinkable, the daily electricity supply is one-fifth of that needed, and healthcare provision is on life support.

Palestinian organizers have called the series of protests the "Great March of Return" beginning on Land Day, March 30, and continuing until May 15, the 70th anniversary of the "Nakba" - or the "catastrophe" - when 750,000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes and off their land by Israeli forces in 1948.

Israeli forces have shot dead at least 31 Palestinians, including a journalist, and wounded many hundreds since the protests began, drawing worldwide criticism of the lethal tactics used against the protesters.

Several thousand people gathered Friday at a tent camp east of Gaza City. The camp was decked out in Palestinian flags.

In northern Gaza, a large Israeli flag was burned that had earlier been set on the ground for protesters to walk over. One path toward lifting the blockade would be to have Hamas' political rival, West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, take over the Gaza government, but recent Egypt-led talks on such a deal appear to have run aground.

Medics carry a a protester wounded during the Gaza return march demonstrations.

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In all, 35 Palestinians were killed in the past two weeks, 28 during protests.

On Friday Mr Lieberman said there were fewer riots on our border because "the other side" had understood Israel's resolve.

Israeli troops have shot dead 30 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing worldwide criticism of the lethal tactics used against them. The Israeli military has been on high alert along the Gaza border since March 25th, dispatching reinforcements from infantry, armoured corps and combat intelligence units, alongside special forces, sappers and snipers. The army said its troops were observing legal open fire procedures.

Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's centrist Yesh Atid party, called Hamas a "despicable terror organization" and accused it of exploiting civilians. Some of those killed were militants, the Israeli army said.

Human rights groups have reiterated that soldiers can only use lethal force if they face an apparent imminent threat to their lives.

More than 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire since the start of "Flag Friday" demonstrations two weeks ago.

Sitting under the shade of trees near the kibbutz of Nahal Oz, he said: "Using live fire is a last resort".

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